Evolution Petroleum reports operating results for first quarter of fiscal 2013
Friday, Nov 09, 2012

HOUSTON, Nov. 7, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Evolution Petroleum Corporation (NYSE MKT: EPM) today reported operating and financial results for the quarter ended September 30, 2012, its first fiscal quarter of 2013 ("Q1-13").

Highlights include:

Earned $1.0 million of net income to common shareholders, up 7% from $0.9 million in the previous quarter ("Q4-12") and essentially flat compared to the year-ago quarter ("Q1-12")

Produced an average 581 net barrels of oil equivalent ("BOE") per day, essentially flat compared to the prior quarter and 14% higher than the year-ago quarter

Drilled and completed two new Mississippian Lime oil wells, our first in the oil play out of an inventory of 114 gross drilling locations

Completed our fourth successful commercial installation of GARP® technology with good results

Robert Herlin, CEO, said: "We are pleased to have maintained production, revenues and earnings for the quarter despite being adversely affected for most of the quarter by the operator's temporary restricted production in the Delhi Field that carried over from the last quarter. As expected, cooler weather in September allowed the operator to restore production back to pre-summer rates, and we fully expect that equipment planned to be added will prevent a re-occurrence in the future. Indeed, current production has now achieved a record level, reflecting incremental oil response resulting from 2011 capital expenditures and resumption of CO2 injections at normal rates."

"We also have completed the drilling and hydraulic fracturing of our first two Mississippian Lime wells in Kay County, Oklahoma and expect to have both on production during the second fiscal quarter."

"In the first quarter of our fiscal year, we continued to execute our strategy of redeploying internal cash flow generated from our foundation asset, the Delhi Field, into our emerging Mississippian Lime oil project where we have approximately 5,400 net acres, providing us ample running room for a multi-year development plan."

Financial Results for the Quarter Ended September 30, 2012

Quarterly net income to common shareholders increased 7% to $1.0 million, or $0.03 per share diluted, compared to net income of $0.9 million, or $0.03 per share diluted, for the prior quarter. Current net income was flat compared to the year-ago quarter.

Revenues decreased 6% to $4.3 million compared to the prior quarter, but increased 11% compared to the year-ago quarter.  The decline in revenues from the prior quarter was primarily due to a lower mix of oil in our volumes combined with lower oil and NGL prices, partially offset by higher natural gas prices. Revenue increases over the year- ago quarter were due to 14% higher volumes and a greater mix of oil in our volumes, offset by lower commodity prices.

Compared to the prior quarter, operating expense was down 4%, primarily due to lower lease operating expense. Operating expense increased 26% over the year-ago quarter due to the increased number of wells added in the Lopez Field, the Mississippian Lime project and our GARP® initiative, as well as higher depletion expense due to higher sales volumes and a 9% increase in the depletion rate to $5.33 per BOE.

Operating expense compared to the year-ago quarter was further impacted by higher bonus accruals, legal expense and public company expense, offset by lower stock compensation expense. Results for all periods included significant non-cash stock compensation expense amounting to 21% of total general and administrative expense in the current quarter, as compared to 30% in the year-ago quarter.

Sales volumes of 581 BOE per day were flat compared to the prior quarter and increased 14% over the year-ago quarter. Compared to the prior quarter, volumes were impacted by a 3% decrease at Delhi as the result of the previously mentioned temporary operational constraint, offset by an 8% increase in other oil volumes due to the Lopez Field and our GARP® program, a 17% increase in NGL volumes and a 10% increase in natural gas volumes. Increases over the year-ago quarter were due primarily to a 15% increase at Delhi, a 44% increase in other crude oil volumes from additions at Lopez and in our GARP® program, and a 9% increase in gas volumes offset by a 4% decrease in NGL volumes.

Our blended product price decreased 8% from the prior quarter and 3% from the year-ago quarter to $80.30 per BOE, both due to a changing mix of volumes and lower overall oil and NGL prices. Our realized natural gas price in the current quarter was 38% lower than the year-ago quarter, but 19% higher than the prior quarter. Please see our 10-Q for the quarter ended September 30, 2012 for additional detail.

Delhi Field

Sales volumes at Delhi averaged 374 net barrels of oil ("BO") per day (5,057 gross BO per day) during the current quarter, a 3% decrease from the prior quarter and a 15% increase over the year-ago quarter. As previously disclosed, the operator restricted production and CO2 injection during the summer due to high ambient temperatures and limited cooling capacity that reduced the ability to handle recycle CO2.

As ambient temperatures declined in September, this restriction was lifted and field production was restored to pre-summer rates. Work is planned to add cooling capacity to prevent a re-occurrence.  Due to the restriction being lifted and beginning contributions from 2011 capital expenditures, production is now exceeding pre-summer rates. Gross production is forecasted by our independent reservoir engineer to reach a peak level of 11,800 BO per day by late 2017. Project work has been focused since late calendar 2011 on the eastern half of the field.

Our realized oil price was $103.78 per barrel compared to $110.09 in the prior quarter and $105.78 in the year-ago quarter.  In the current quarter, we realized a $10.88 premium on our Delhi volumes compared to our Texas oil volumes.

Mississippi Lime

Our primary focus for redeploying cash flow this year is the Mississippian Lime play in north central Oklahoma where we completed the drilling of our first two Mississippian Lime oil wells in Kay County, Oklahoma.  In addition to our 45% working interest in a salt water disposal well completed last quarter, we own a 45% working interest in the Sneath #1-24H well and a 36.6% working interest in the Hendrickson #1-1H well. In the Sneath #1-24H, we hydraulically fractured a 3,100' lateral section in late October, and recently completed the hydraulic fracturing of a 4,000' lateral section in the Hendrickson #1-1H.

Industry experience to date shows that the Mississippian Lime formation requires dewatering before oil and gas production begins to increase to its peak rate. Consequently, we expect meaningful oil and gas production to begin in both wells during the second fiscal quarter as their reservoirs must be partially depressurized to allow oil and gas production from the rock matrix. We plan to monitor and evaluate the results from the Sneath and Hendrickson wells for the purpose of optimizing drilling and completion techniques in anticipation of full-scale development. We continue to look for opportunities to expand our position in the play.

These wells are the first of 114 gross probable drilling locations assigned by our independent reservoir engineer. Our capital program for fiscal 2013 is primarily focused on this project.

GARP®

We installed our artificial lift technology on a fourth well pursuant to our commercial agreements, converting a well with no production into a 20+ gross BOE per day producer, composed of 5-6 BO per day and more than 90 thousand cubic feet per day of liquids rich natural gas. We own a 99% working interest before payout and a 76.5% working interest after payout. Total gross production from our four commercial installations was 55-60 BOE per day (27-30 net BOE per day) in early November.

Other Fields

Production from our wells in the Giddings Field essentially maintained rates subject to natural declines. Pursuant to our focus on the Mississippian Lime and GARP® projects combined with continued low natural gas prices, we have elected to monetize much of our non-core Giddings interests through agreements in principle that are expected to close during our second fiscal quarter. The sales are expected to significantly lower our overall depletion rate due to the removal of future capital expenditures associated with proved undeveloped reserves having high natural gas content and relatively high development cost.

Lopez Field production continues to improve and benefit from the extensive work-over efforts during the latter portion of fiscal 2012.  The Lopez #5 is averaging more than 15 BO per day and the Garcia #1 is averaging approximately 8 BO per day.  Our third producer is still in the early stages of dewatering. Overall, we have 37 proved and probable drilling locations on our leases, but are evaluating the potential in South Texas compared to other projects as to scale, profitability and timing.

Capital Expenditures, Liquidity and Capital Resources

Capital expenditures during Q1-13 were $2.7 million, invested primarily to drill two new Mississippian Lime oil wells, one new GARP® installation and other projects. We are on track to achieve our planned 2013 capital plan of $10 million, of which 85% is targeted to drilling new oil wells in our Mississippian Lime growth asset.

At September 30, 2012 we had cash and cash equivalents of $13.1 million, up from $11.6 million from the same period last year, and ended the current quarter with no debt. Existing working capital of $12.8 million and projected cash flows from operations are more than sufficient to fund our remaining 2013 capital budget.

Conference Call

Evolution Petroleum will host a conference call on Thursday, November 8 at 11:00 a.m. Eastern Time (10:00 a.m. Central) to discuss these results. To access the call, please dial 1-800-860-2442 (U.S.), 1-412-858-4600 (International) or 1-866-605-3852 (Canada). The conference call will also be broadcast live via the Internet and can be accessed through Evolution's corporate website, www.evolutionpetroleum.com.

About Evolution Petroleum

Evolution Petroleum Corporation develops incremental petroleum reserves and shareholder value by applying conventional and specialized technology to known oil and gas resources, onshore in the United States.   Principal assets as of June 30, 2012 include 13.4 MMBOE of proved reserves and 12.7 MMBOE of probable reserves with PV-10* of $445 million and $174 million, respectively, and no debt.  Producing assets include a CO2-EOR project with growing production in Louisiana's Delhi Field, and producing wells and proved drilling locations in the Giddings Field of Central Texas and Lopez Field in South Texas.  Other assets include a 45% interest in a joint venture with 114 gross (25 net to EPM) probable drilling locations in the Mississippian Lime play in Oklahoma and a patented artificial lift technology designed to extend the life of horizontal wells with oil or associated water production.  Additional information, including the Company's annual report on Form 10-K and its quarterly reports on Form 10-Q, is available on its website at (www.evolutionpetroleum.com).

SOURCE Evolution Petroleum Corporation

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